Von Ebner's gland protein (VEGP) is a secretory protein, which is abundantly expressed in the small von Ebner's salivary glands of the tongue. VEGP as component of the perireceptor environment around taste papillae might function as transporter of hydrophobic molecules, for example bitter substances. Here we report a new approach to investigate the physiological role of VEGP by expression of the cloned rat VEGP gene in transgenic mice. Taste papillae of mice, in contrast to rats, do not contain VEGP. The founder mouse 4345 and three offspring carry the transgene as shown by PCR analysis and saliva of the transgenic mice contains high amounts of VEGP. In two-bottle preference tests, transgenic and nontransgenic siblings show significantly different capabilities to taste the bitter compound denatonium benzoate at 10 mu M. The reduced sensitivity of transgenic mice to denatonium benzoate points to a clearance function of VEGP the specificity of which for taste compounds and other molecules remains to be seen.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Physiology and Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1994|